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rise up and read together

Malaprop’s Announces the Inaugural Rise Up and Read Together Program

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café to Launch Program on March 26 with the first book of March trilogy and author Andrew Aydin

Malaprop’s Bookstore has announced the Rise Up and Read Together, a year-long program that invites all residents of Asheville to read the same book. Rise Up and Read Together is modeled on the “One City One Book” program, and is designed to build a sense of community and promote literacy. Like “One City One Book,” Asheville’s Rise Up and Read Together takes the idea of a localized book discussion club and expands it to cover an entire community.

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café has selected the inaugural book, Vol. 1 of the March trilogy, March: Book One. Malaprop’s will host a visit by author Andrew Aydin on Sunday March 26, at 3:00 pm. The event also will announce the launch of the Rise Up and Read Together program. Tickets to the event are free and available at malaprops.com. Malaprop’s will sell March: Book One at a 10% discount throughout the duration of this year’s program.

Asheville Mayor Esther Mannheimer said: “This program is a way to expand the conversation that starts when families read together to neighborhoods, schools, faith institutions, community groups, retirement communities and the city as a whole. I hope this common ground of sharing will strengthen our community and create connections where there have been divides.” Emoke B’Racz, Malaprop’s owner and founder, added: “Malaprop’s has been a resource to the Asheville community since it opened its doors in 1982. Our mission has always been to create a welcoming environment in which all kinds of people can come together around words, books, and ideas. The March trilogy is the kind of work that will inspire discussion across generations.”

“We are excited to bring this landmark book to the Asheville community,” said Melanie McNair, Malaprop’s Director of Marketing and Author Events, “and we are delighted to welcome Andrew Aydin to Malaprop’s. March is a work that will be enjoyed and appreciated by both kids and adults. It’s our aim and our hope that reading March: Book One will get families and generations talking together about the important events and themes presented in the book. As an independent bookstore, we believe that books can be a powerful constructive force for bringing people together.”

The March trilogy is an award-winning, New York Times #1 best-selling graphic-novel memoir trilogy offering an inside story of the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of one of its most iconic figures, civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis. The series is written by Lewis and Andrew Aydin, and illustrated and lettered by Nate Powell. March is the first comics work to win the National Book Award, and is a recipient of the Will Eisner Comics Industry Award for “Best Reality-Based Work,” the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award Special Recognition, and the Coretta Scott King Book Award (Author) Honor. The Washington Post heralded the completion of the March trilogy, saying, “There is perhaps no more important modern book to be stocked in American school libraries than March. The closest American peer to Maus has arrived.”

Community groups, faith groups, social justice organizations, and book clubs are encouraged to participate by reading March: Book One together and creating discussion groups among their members. YWCA Asheville, Stand Against Racism, BeLoved Asheville, Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jovene, Building Bridges, Movement in Faith, Rainbow Community School and Faith for Justice Asheville have already signed on as official partners. Area schools and libraries are exploring programming around the book. There is a Facebook group anyone can join who would like to collaborate and connect with other readers: www.facebook.com/groups/riseupandreadtogether.

“It is our hope that we will start something this year that the community will take on and keep going year after year,” McNair said. “There is a powerful longing among our customers to connect to others in a real and genuine way – not through the avatars of social media – and we hope this ongoing initiative will fulfill at least part of that need..”

The first “One City One Book” program was “If All of Seattle Read the Same Book,” in 1998, started at Seattle Public Library’s Washington Center for the Book. Since then, other communities have adopted similar initiatives and The Center for the Book at the Library of Congress tracks all known programs and the books they have used. Buncombe County had a “Together We Read” program in 2002 and 2003 that featured a book by a regional author in each of those two years.

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café is an independent bookstore and café founded in Asheville, NC in 1982. Malaprop’s bring books, writers, and readers together in an environment that nurtures community, diversity, and the joy of reading.


About Andrew Aydin and the genesis of the March trilogy:

An Atlanta native, Andrew Aydin grew up reading and collecting comic books. After college, upon taking a job with Congressman John Lewis, Andrew learned that the civil rights legend had been inspired as a young man by a classic 1950s comic book, Martin Luther King & The Montgomery Story. Aydin and Lewis discussed the impact that comic books can have on young readers, and decided to write a graphic-novel memoir together about the civil rights era. A few years, later, the March series was born.

Today, Andrew serves as Digital Director & Policy Advisor to Congressman John Lewis in Washington, D.C. While studying at Georgetown University in Washington, Andrew wrote his master’s thesis on the history and impact of Martin Luther King & The Montgomery Story. As March has grown into a bona fide phenomenon, Andrew continues to publish and lecture about the history of comics in the civil rights movement, including at the headquarters of Google and Apple, where CEO Tim Cook called March, “a very unique way to present what is probably the most important story of my entire lifetime. My hope is that everyone reads this, and I would love to see the day that it is required reading in every school.”

March Book One cover 300dpi (1)-1

About the March trilogy:

Almost sixty years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. edited a 16-page comic book about the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Distributed by hand in churches, schools, and nonviolence workshops, Martin Luther King & The Montgomery Story dramatized the fledgling movement and its tactics to a generation of future leaders including a young John Lewis.

Today, Congressman Lewis is continuing that legacy, and using comics to educate and inspire a new generation. Together with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, Lewis has created a transformative work of literature in the graphic-novel memoir series March, a #1 New York Times bestseller that brings his memories of the civil rights movement to urgent new life.

As a graphic novel memoir, March engages readers with unforgettable imagery and first-person narration, combining the disciplines of art, literature, and history in a single document. Students will not only understand the history of the civil rights movement but also connect in a deeply personal way with the story of nonviolent activism in America. March is also a catalyst for vital discussions about diversity, society, and active engagement in one’s community, in ways that are not just historical but directly relevant to today’s world. And what’s more, it focuses specifically on the role of young people.

About Malaprops Bookstore

Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café is an independent bookstore and café founded in Asheville, NC in 1982. Malaprop’s bring books, writers, and readers together in an environment that nurtures community, diversity, and the joy of reading.